Airports Consider Replacing TSA

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PRR 60

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From the Washington Post, December 31, 2010:

Some of the nation's biggest airports are responding to recent public outrage over security screening by considering whether they should hire private firms such as Covenant to replace the Transportation Security Administration. Sixteen airports, including San Francisco and Kansas City International Airport, have made the switch since 2002. One Orlando airport has approved the change but has not yet selected a contractor, and several others are seriously considering it.
The full story is HERE.
 

PetalumaLoco

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But it's not about the angry passengers, it's about reducing the size of the bureaucracy.

"Procedures in airport security lines do not change. Thirty private firms are contracted by the TSA to potentially work as screeners, and their employees are required by federal law to undergo the same training, use the same pat-down techniques and operate the same equipment - such as full-body scanners - that the TSA does."

So in effect as far as the public goes, nothing changes.
 
T

The Davy Crockett

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So in effect as far as the public goes, nothing changes.
The one thing it does do is give TSA a certain amount of 'plausible deniability.' As in: "Its not our fault you don't like how you were treated, it is the contractor's fault." It gives them something to hide behind. :ph34r:
 

ALC Rail Writer

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How does this reduce the length of the chain? If anything it should put more people the Government and our junk.

So if I have a complaint about one of these private security people, it goes through their supervisor, their supervisor's supervisor, and then to the guy who has a direct line to the TSA which then just gets bundled together with the other complaints into just a statistic?
 

Ozark Southern

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How does this reduce the length of the chain? If anything it should put more people the Government and our junk.

So if I have a complaint about one of these private security people, it goes through their supervisor, their supervisor's supervisor, and then to the guy who has a direct line to the TSA which then just gets bundled together with the other complaints into just a statistic?
Because the security officer, their supervisor, and their supervisor's supervisor are not technically "bureaucracy." However, they are still paid with tax money, and since they are for-profit companies, they will try however possible to profit from our tax money. I hope the taxpayers realize this is not really what they want--though experience tells me there's a better chance of snow in Nairobi this July.
 

The Metropolitan

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Here's my take:

Let's see here, we get security firms who will bid for these contracts to try to make a profit. Let's say they can undercut the expense of the TSA folks by 10%. Mr. & Mrs. Air Traveller won't see a reduction in their $2.50 Security Fee, so any money saved will go to the Airport Authority.

The winning bidder will obviously be looking to make a profit from the operation, and the easiest way to do that will be to pay their employees less than the TSA agents make. The displaced TSA personnel then have to choose between finding a new job elsewhere or staying where they are and making less money as an employee of the contractor. The cost to train new people will obviously come from somewhere, so one can presume that the pay grade of the front line employees will be that much less to compensate. This will of course lead to a higher turnover rate, and the flying public will have more and more inexperienced personnel staffing the scanners. The places with the lower paid, less experienced personnel will be the ones most likely to encounter true security lapses.

For the travelling public, there's the already mentioned matters of extra layering of beauracracy in the event of complaints, with the TSA able to counter that their concerns are now a "Contractor Issue," not to mention the safety concerns present from using less experienced staff.

So, my take:

Winners:

For Profit Security Providers (for financial boon)

Airport Authorities (at least financially)

TSA Heirachy (for deniability)

Losers:

Travelling Public (for numerous reasons, including safety)

Front Line Security Personnel (financially)
 
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